Upper Back Pain Versus Lower Back Pain

Back pain is quite the frequent problem among most people nowadays, more so with the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of the population. However, it helps to learn to differentiate upper back pain and lower back pain, since each may show different symptoms and have varying causes. Reading this article can help satisfy your curiosity regarding these two similar, yet different conditions.

Causes of Upper Back Pain

The cause of upper back pain may be either sudden injury or trauma, or chronic strain from an inappropriate posture. Upper back pain is a frequently manifesting disorder since most people do the things that cause it, such as playing sports, slouching, or performing strenuous activities. Also, it can manifest due to blunt force to the back, such as one from a car accident or suddenly having to lift a heavy object.

To be more specific, the general cause of upper back pain comes from either muscular irritation or joint dysfunction, and in some cases, both. And to make it even worse, the muscles of the back are large, making them more prone to irritation. Overuse of muscles may cause irritation, and so does lack of use since it leads to lack of strength.

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Similar to upper back pain, lower back pain can manifest from either acute trauma or muscle overuse. However, it is more often caused by compressed spinal nerves, due to varying causes. An example would be a herniated disc, which adds up the pressure to the nerves. Normally, these discs act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae of the spine, so if they ever suffer damage, they become herniated. Osteoarthritis can cause the onset of lower back pain, and increased load from regularly carrying a heavy shoulder bag can worsen the condition.

Reducing Back Pain

The primary treatment for back pain is posture correction, which involves having to train weak, inactive muscles to reduce the imbalance that causes the improper posture. There are various exercises for this, one may check various books from FreeYourSpine.info. Another solution would be to reduce the load one is carrying, or at least distribute them properly. For example, instead of a shoulder bag, one can use a backpack.


Upper back pain and lower back pain are both caused by irritation and joint dysfunction. However, lower back pain may also manifest due to a herniated disk. People’s lifestyle can cause and aggravate back pain, and thus, it may be necessary to apply some therapeutic exercises to relieve them.